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The Westwicke Blog is designed to deliver information and insights into the ever-changing world of investor relations and the capital markets, with a specific focus on the healthcare industry.

Tailor Your Investor Meetings to the Audience and Timeframe

Posted on May 27th, 2014. Posted by

You spend considerable time creating a professional investor presentation that tells a comprehensive story of your company. Yet aside from the analyst/investor due diligence meeting, few opportunities exist for you to deliver the entire presentation from start-to-finish. How, then, can you tailor your presentation to the time and opportunities at hand?

Let me give you a brief overview of the most common investor encounters, the opportunities and challenges they bring, and what you can do to prepare. I’ll also share some strategies to help you leverage your investor presentation to articulate a compelling story in time-sensitive situations — one-on-one and small group meetings at investor conferences, the investor conference presentation, and even the quick chance encounter that can happen anywhere.

The one-on-one and small group meetings

An integral part of healthcare conference agendas, one-on-one and small group meetings typically last around 30 to 40 minutes.

The opportunity
These meetings allow executive management teams to meet face-to-face with analysts/investors representing firms from different parts of the country in one central location.

The challenge
These meetings are shorter than they seem, and the knowledge, agendas, and attention spans of your audience members can really vary. DO NOT expect to talk for the full 30 to 40 minutes: handshakes and pleasantries tend to make up the first few minutes of the meeting, and the participants will often interrupt with questions and direct the conversation to specific topics, which limits your ability to deliver the contents of your slide deck in an orderly way.

What to do
Identify the level of familiarity of your audience with your story. If the analysts own the stock or have expertise in the company’s sub-sector, start the meeting by stating, affirmatively, that you’d like to take a few minutes to catch them up on recent developments. Review the results of the most recent quarter, and make sure they are up to speed on any progress you have made toward longer-term milestones over the past year. Then prepare for a blitz of questions, and use specific slides from your investor presentation to guide your responses.

If the analysts are unfamiliar with your story, plan to walk them through the four to five key slides in your investor presentation before opening the meeting to questions. Start with the investment highlights, move on to your market opportunity, give them a brief review of your key products and growth strategy, and then discuss your financial profile and key milestones for the next 12 months.

The 20-minute conference presentation

Another core part of investor conferences, these meetings take place in front of a roomful of analysts/investors.

The opportunity
This is your chance to tell your story, in abbreviated form, to a wide audience.

The challenge
Aside from the obvious time constraints, the biggest challenge in this situation is the fact that you are trying to provide an attractive overview of your business to an audience that has likely seen hundreds of similar presentations.

What to do
While you might be tempted to start with the basics — your company mission, history, location, and so on — fact of the matter is that your audience won’t want to hear it. If you spend all of your time presenting what audience members could easily find on your website, then you’re missing a prime chance to pique their interest.

On the other hand, you also want to avoid delving into detail unnecessarily. Your primary goal is to “bait the hook, not to catch the fish,” meaning you want to communicate a story that will entice audience members to invest their own time and learn more about your company.

How do you bait the hook? Use an abbreviated version of your investor presentation, one that highlights key themes and messaging with clear and concise slides.

Ultimately, your audience wants to know three things:

  1. Why your primary market is compelling
  2. What makes your company different in addressing this primary market
  3. A succinct description of your growth strategy

The chance encounter

This is your elevator pitch. When you’re at conferences and road shows, chance encounters with investors happen — at cocktail parties, in the hotel gym, or in the registration line.

The opportunity
Chance encounters are prime opportunities to make a good impression and entice an analyst/investor to learn more about the company.

The challenge
They happen when you least expect, and you won’t have supporting materials to help you communicate your story.

What to do
Your main objective is to give the analyst/investor a reason to care. Executives often respond too generically in informal settings, saying things like, “Hi, I run Company X. We’re a diagnostics business.” Far more specific and inspiring: “I run the fastest growing diagnostics company in the sector.” And when the investor responds with, “Oh, tell me more,” that’s when you present your one-to-two-minute elevator pitch.

A good elevator pitch is thoughtfully prepared. In no more than a few sentences, you need to:

  1. Describe your company
  2. Summarize your strategic focus and growth profile
  3. Tell your audience how they can learn more (e.g., “We are presenting tomorrow at 10 a.m.”)

Plan ahead and practice delivering your elevator pitch in a casual but convincing way. While your pitch might only involve three sentences, the last thing you want to do is deliver them in staccato fashion. Remember: you only have one chance to make a lasting first impression — it’s cliché but true.

When it comes to your investor presentation, realize that you will use it differently each time you meet with investors. The more you tailor and tweak your voiceover to the appropriate timeframe and audience, the better your chances of piquing interest and inspiring action.

Not sure how to distill your story and data in a persuasive way? Westwicke can help. Contact us to learn how.

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